For two weeks in July, a comprehensive scientific expedition of the National Park "Russkaya Arktika" and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF Russia), composed of sixty people went on research vessel "Professor Molchanov" more than four thousand nautical miles, rose above the eightieth parallel, and made a landing in the national park and the federal reserve "Franz Josef Land." The main objective of the expedition was to collect information about the state of ecosystems and the cultural and historical heritage in the Orange Islands and the Cape of Desire - this is just the National Park "Russian Arctic".
Russkaya Arktika National Park is a national park of Russia, which was established in June 2009. It covers a large and remote area of the Arctic Ocean, the northern part of Novaya Zemlya (Severny Island), and Franz Josef Land.As of 2009 the total area of the national park is 14,260 sq km, including 6,320 sq km on the land and 7,940 sq km of the Arctic Ocean.The area is the habitat of polar bears and bowhead whales. The area also includes one of the largest bird colonies in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as walrus and seal rookeries. In addition to preserving natural habitats, the area of the national park is important for preserving the cultural heritage, which is related to the history of discovery and colonisation of the vast Arctic territories starting from the sixteenth century.
The Russian government first established the Franz Joseph Land Conservation Area on 23 April 1994. The intention to create a national park was announced in 2008. On 15 June 2009 Vladimir Putin signed the decree establishing the park. Announcing the event Putin expressed his hopes that the National Park could help develop tourism in the area. He also announced plans to spend his vacations in the newly established national park.